Friday, April 02, 2004

Monitoring the situation

I mentioned that I was swapping monitors out the other night. The monitor on our "new" PC (three years old) has seemed to be getting darker and darker. Not all of a sudden, but gradually over months. Brightness and contrast are both pegged at 100%, but things just seemed...dim. I realized how bad it had gotten a couple of weeks ago when I tried to play Master of Orion II (yeah, I'm THAT kind of geek). It being set in space and all has a naturally dark background. I popped the CD in and fired 'er up and realized that everything was so dark that I couldn't even find the hot spots for the mouse to exit properly.

What to do? Well, it could be the monitor (most likely), or it could be the video card (least likely). I hate to go spend money without diagnosing the exact problem (ok, well, maybe that's stretching it a little, but it's USUALLY true) so I figured I would check with the computer guys at work to see if I could borrow a monitor to bring home and swap out - not to keep, just to test. If the new monitor works fine, then it's the monitor that's the problem. If the new monitor is also dim, it's the video card.

So the guys let me borrow a new Dell 14" flat screen on Wednesday. Those things are SWEET! (and SO much easier to move about too - I carried it around in one hand!) I hooked it up and the living room (which is where the computer is) looked like we lived next door to the Griswold's at Christmas. So it's definitely the monitor which needs replacing.

So, being the cheap frugal guy I am, it dawned on me...AHA! We still have the old, old monitor from the old computer. Instead of buying a new one (flat screen, honey, think FLAT SCREEN), I can just use it until it dies. No one uses the old PC anyway since it's relegated to the converted garage room (aka Siberia).

Then it dawns on me. I had a monitor already. I didn't need to bring one home from work.


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